Hot Power Yoga: Why We Sweat
Anyone that has ever done a sun salutation or has held a yoga pose for any duration can attest yoga is not for the faint at heart. For those that say it is “just stretching” I beg to ask if they have ever stepped foot in a yoga studio. I think not.
Crank up the thermometer to 40 ͦC and push the limits in regards to strength and stamina and you may just think that practitioners of hot power yoga have lost their mind. Beads of sweat drip from the brow and we have only stepped foot on the mat. What motivates these sweaty yogis to come back again and again? Believe me, as a certified hot yoga instructor and practitioner myself, I can testify, there are many health and wellness benefits when practiced correctly.
Why turn up the heat?
As with regular hot yoga, hot power yoga’s main premise is primarily to warm up the body which in turn creates sweat. The ensuing result is an increase in flexibility with lesser risk of injury, but it doesn’t stop there. Hot power yoga versus other forms of high intensity exercise has a very low impact, but is yet highly effective.
Practicing yoga in a heated room increases your pulse rate and metabolism, helping detoxify the body and eliminate toxins. This helps aid digestion. The lymphatic system improves, boosting your overall immunity. As the heart beats faster new blood is circulated through the body boosting your heart’s health and benefiting your bones, muscles and joints, making concerns over aging a thing of the past.
Add power to the sultry equation and watch the pounds literally melt. Hot power yoga not only strengthens and tones your body, but burns calories at an exponential rate.
Are you a little confused?
Hot yoga is fairly straight forward, a moderate practice of hatha or vinyasa yoga practiced in a heatd room, but what does this power component entail? Power yoga is often described as a vigorous fitness based vinyasa practice connecting breath with movement. It is known to be an offshoot of Ashtanga yet more dynamic and intense. It is basically the CrossFit for yogis. It is the ultimate practice of “mind over matter,” inspiring personal endurance and self-confidence.
By the end of class the endorphins rush in after 60-90 minutes have elapsed, sweating it out on the mat, leaving you with the sensational feeling that there is nothing in this world you cannot achieve. As with all forms of yoga, hot power yoga reduces stress and tension and gives the practitioner a brighter outlook on life.
A few words of caution, hot power yoga is a very brisk exercise and beginners should be hesitant to start at this level of intensity. My advice as a newbie to yoga, practice at least 3-6 months in a normal studio before trying your hand at hot yoga or hot power yoga. It is important to be mindful of your body, to be aware of its limitations, its strengths and weaknesses in order to know when your flexibility in a hot space has reached it threshold. Also, don’t forget to hydrate. Replenishing your body after class will continue to flush out the toxins, help the skins regulate the temperature and aid in circulation. Drinking plenty of water will detour hydration and help increase your general well-being.
What are you waiting for?
Whether you are new to yoga or are a seasoned practitioner there is plenty of yoga to satisfy the masses. Try a variety of classes and see which is right for you. I assure you, your body will thank you!
Want to take one of my classes? Check out my schedule at Yogalinda in Barcelona, Spain.
Photo credit: Florencia Reolon